Never assume what your legal rights may be; Seek advice!

PUBLISHED 11 May 2016

In New South Wales, motorists who sustain injuries from motor vehicle accidents are entitled to make a personal injury claim against the compulsory third party insurer of the motor vehicle at fault. Under section 72(1) of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW) (the Act), a claim must be made within 6 months from the date of the accident.

Where a claimant fails to make a claim within 6 months from the date of the accident, section 73(1) of the Act prescribes that a claim may be made more than 6 months after the date of the accident if the claimant provides a full and satisfactory explanation for the delay in making the claim. This provision of the Act is regularly disputed and challenged between claimants and third party insurers as some motorists are simply unaware of the time limits required in making a personal injury claim or in some instances without first seeking legal advice.

For instance, a gardener who happens to be unloading his equipment behind his own utility vehicle and is accidentally struck by the vehicle when his colleague in the vehicle negligently reverses into him would most likely make a Workers Compensation Claim for injuries sustained during the course of work. However, as the accident occurred through the use or operation of a vehicle, the person may well also make a motor vehicle accident claim for the injuries sustained. Unfortunately from our experience, many claimants fail to recognize their rights as some are drawn to the belief that their benefits are merely confined to the workers compensation scheme.

What is most disappointing is when a claimant continues to struggle with the injuries after their Workers Compensation benefits are terminated, at which point in time, the claimant comes to realize that the time limit in making a motor vehicle accident claim under the Act has expired. The lesson is simple, never assume or put up with what your legal rights may be. Seek advice.

As such, section 73(1) of the Act is regularly disputed and litigated as the process considers the factual circumstances surrounding the delay of the claim brought and whether this was acceptable and reasonable. From a preliminary stage, whether a claimant’s explanation for the delay in bringing the claim is full and satisfactory is a discretionary matter for the compulsory third party insurers who are rightly and carefully strict on accepting explanations.

Until an explanation is rejected, a claimant would have to resort to the court system to litigate on the issue of whether the claim should be accepted.

From our experience, the quick access to legal advice relating to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident will almost certainly eliminate all the troubles and stress of providing a full and satisfactory explanation to the compulsory third party insurer because claimants will be advised of their time limits in making a claim as the first and foremost concern.

If any of the information concerns you, Contact us on 1800 004 878 and we will arrange a free consultation appointment for you at an office convenient to you in Sydney & NSW.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.